Kabuki court in session: Judge sets fake hearing on issuing recall petitions - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, February 25, 2020
HomePoliticsKabuki court in session: Judge sets fake hearing on issuing recall petitions

Kabuki court in session: Judge sets fake hearing on issuing recall petitions

JUDGE PURPOSEFULLY DRAINING DUNLEAVY DEFENSE FUNDS?

Judge Eric Aarseth is scraping egg off of his face this week. Trying to repair damage to his reputation of impartiality, he has called for another court hearing that involves one of his Jan. 10 decisions on whether the Recall Dunleavy petition can move forward to the signature-gathering stage.

Those oral arguments he says will be made on Jan. 29 in Anchorage.

BACKGROUND – A SERIES OF JUDICIAL MISSTEPS

The case involves a quest to unseat Gov. Mike Dunleavy via recall election. The State of Alaska and Stand Tall for Mike say there are no legitimate grounds for recall.

When the original oral arguments were made Jan. 10, observers noted that Aarseth had scheduled two hours for the court hearing. But when he arrived in court, the judge suddenly cut it to one hour — one half hour for each side.

That change left the Recall Dunleavy defense team scrambling without time to coordinate and cut their two presentations down by half. By the time Stand Tall for Mike’s attorney Brewster Jamieson stood to give his presentation, the judge quickly cut him off and told him to conclude.

As he began that hearing on Jan. 10, Aarseth announced he would have a decision at the end of it. This was an unmistakable signal he’d already determined the outcome.

And he had. After a 10-minute break after the hour of arguments, Aarseth returned with a 15-minute explanation of why the Recall Dunleavy petition was legal, and he then announced he would not be granting a “stay” on the petitions, while the matter was appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court by the Stand Tall for Mike group, defending the governor.

Don’t bother asking for a stay, he said, as he was ordering the petitions to be issued by Feb. 10.

Jamieson, arguing for Stand Tall for Mike, asked if he might ask for that stay anyway. Might he be permitted by the court to get that in writing, as this would allow the Stand Tall group to then appeal the “no stay” ruling to the Supreme Court as well as appealing the Aarseth ruling on the merits of the case? The judge begrudgingly agreed.

On Jan. 16, Aarseth had received the Stand Tall argument for a “stay” on the petition booklets, and he reversed his original ruling, and granted the stay, pending the decision by the Alaska Supreme Court.

Six days later, on Jan. 22, Aarseth reversed that ruling and said he had made an error.

The court system issued an explanation on Twitter on Jan. 22:

“On January 21, Judge Aarseth reviewed the Unopposed Motion for Expedited Consideration of Motion for Stay Pending Appeal and the Motion for Stay Pending Expedited Appeal filed by STWM while out of town on a urgent family issue.”

“He telephonically authorized granting the Motion for Expedited Consideration only. The Motion for Stay Pending Expedited Appeal was inadvertently granted as well.”

Now, the hapless judge has scheduled oral arguments on the decision about whether the petition booklets can be issued while the case is still under consideration.

That court date, Jan. 29, is only 12 days from the date Aarseth had said the Division of Elections must have the petition booklets printed and available for the Recall Dunleavy group.

Each error and reversal runs up the bills for the Stand Tall group — writing motions, writing reply briefs — all in pursuit of appearing in a Kabuki courtroom, where both sides and the judge already know what the outcome will be: Judge Aarseth is going to rule against the governor and for the Recall Dunleavy group. That you can take to the bank.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I am looking forward to seeing this judge’s name on a ballot.

    • Corruption.

      • Grounds for judicial misconduct? Grievance filing to ABA?

  • State judges are state employees and they were offended that Gov. Dunleavy cut their sacred budget based on funds for “elective” abortions. The first count for recalling him is for missing a deadline on appointing a Palmer judge and the whole effort is focused on inspiring a soft coup by the judiciary.

  • Is it running up the bills for the recall people as well. I feel that if the really feel they have legal grounds they should pay their own costs, not the state.

    • No it is not. Their efforts are funded by the likes of George Soros and other unnamed carpetbaggers. It’s interesting to note that this sort of recall is going on Nationwide. There are at least 16 governors all Republican that are putting up the good fight just like our governor is because this sham group that is trying to overthrow our country’s electoral process and take power is full of haters and poor sports and sore losers that they are willing to destroy our country rather than solve their issues in the election booth. I think they’ve bitten off more than they can chew and I hope they choke on it.

      • Like the Koch Bros funding Sullivan? Or just people you call losers? That Soros fella really gets around in your world.

        • Blowhard, he has the means to be many places at one time.

          • Greg, you have any evidence to support your wild accusations? Now is the time to spill the beans on this secret of yours.

  • It’s pretty obvious that this guy now needs to step down. Perhaps he is suffering from early onset dementia or some other mental derangement.

    • Yeah, it’s called liberalism (which is a mental disorder) with maybe a touch of DDS, Dunleavy Derangement Syndrome.

      • Liberals believe in civil rights. These people do not and they certainly don’t believe in the rule of law so I don’t know what these people are but they’re not liberals.

  • The person who should really be recalled is the judge.

    • That’s what I’ve been saying! He admits he made a mistake (just like Dunleavy), so if he rules against Dunleavy, is he not also ruling against himself? Oh, the irony!

  • The judicial discipline committee needs to put a stop to the junk he is pulling..

  • It’s time to let these political tyrants know that we choose our governor, not them. They’re just like all the Leftist elitists who think we’re not qualified to choose our President. We need to form a human wall between Governor Dunleavy and his (and our) enemies.

  • Best thing this idiot can do is recuse himself, then resign.

  • One can only hope that incompetency is behind all this as that is the best case, and yet if incompetency is the reason behind all this then the judge should be removed from office for being incompetent. Otherwise we start to talk about unscrupulous things that should not be talked about in polite company.

  • When does he show up on the ballot again?

    • 2022, I believe. Just like Lisa Murkowski. ( and daddy Frank Murkowski was the governor who appointed this biased judge to the court in the first place. ) I know how I will vote when they come up for reappointment.

  • It isn’t just this judge. Remember when the Supremes ruled that parents had no rights to even be notified if their minor daughter got an abortion? Liberal activist judges.
    I remember catching Gavel Alaska one time and the judges were actually poo-pooing the Constitution as irrelevant.

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